Isaiah 10:26
And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
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(26) According to the slaughter of Midian.—The historical associations of Isaiah 9:4 are still in the prophet’s mind. In the history of Judges (Judges 7:25), Oreb and Zeeb are the names at once of the Midianite chiefs and of the places where they were slain.

As his rod was upon the sea.—The italics spoil the sense. Better, His rod upon the sea . . . He shall lift it up after the manner of Egypt. The ambiguous formula which had been taken as primarily of evil boding in Isaiah 10:24, is repeated as an augury of good. There was another rod prominent in that Egyptian history besides that of the oppressor, and that rod had been wielded by the deliverer.

10:20-34 By our afflictions we may learn not to make creatures our confidence. Those only can with comfort stay upon God, who return to him in truth, not in pretence and profession only. God will justly bring this wasting away on a provoking people, but will graciously set bounds to it. It is against the mind and will of God, that his people, whatever happens, should give way to fear. God's anger against his people is but for a moment; and when that is turned from us, we need not fear the fury of man. The rod with which he corrected his people, shall not only be laid aside, but thrown into the fire. To encourage God's people, the prophet puts them in mind of what God had formerly done against the enemies of his church. God's people shall be delivered from the Assyrians. Some think it looks to the deliverance of the Jews out of their captivity; and further yet, to the redemption of believers from the tyranny of sin and Satan. And this, because of the anointing; for his people Israel's sake, the believers among them that had received the unction of Divine grace. And for the sake of the Messiah, the Anointed of God. Here is, ver. 28-34, a prophetical description of Sennacherib's march towards Jerusalem, when he threatened to destroy that city. Then the Lord, in whom Hezekiah trusted, cut down his army like the hewing of a forest. Let us apply what is here written, to like matters in other ages of the church of Christ. Because of the anointing of our great Redeemer, the yoke of every antichrist must be broken from off his church: and if our souls partake of the unction of the Holy Spirit, complete and eternal deliverances will be secured to us.And the Lord of hosts shall stir up - Or shall raise up that which shall rove as a scourge to him.

A scourge for him - That is, that which shall punish him. The scourge, or rod, is used to denote severe punishment of any kind. The nature of this punishment is immediately specified.

According to the slaughter of Midian - That is, as the Midianites were discomfitcd and punished. There is reference here, doubtless, to the discomfiture and slaughter of the Midianites by Gideon, as recorded in Judges 7:24-25. That was signal and entire; and the prophet means to say, that the destruction of the Assyrian would be also signal and total. The country of Midian, or Madian, was on the east side of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea; but it extended also north along the desert of mount Seir to the country of the Moabites; see the note at Isaiah 60:6.

At the rock of Oreb - At this rock, Gideon killed the two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb Judges 7:25; and from this circumstance, probably, the name was given to the rock: Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14. It was on the east side of the Jordan.

And as his rod ... - That is, as God punished the Egyptians in the Red Sea.

So shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt - As God overthrew the Egyptians in the Red Sea, so shall he overthrow and destroy the Assyrian. By these two comparisons, therefore, the prophet represents the complete destruction of the Assyrian army. In both of these cases, the enemies of the Jews had been completely overthrown, and so it would be in regard to the hosts of the Assyrian.

26. slaughter of—"stroke upon."

Midian—(Isa 9:4; Jud 7:25).

as his rod was upon the sea—rather, understanding "stroke" from the previous clause, "according to the stroke of His rod upon the Red Sea" (Ex 14:16, 26). His "rod" on the Assyrian (Isa 10:24, 26) stands in bold contrast to the Assyrian used as a "rod" to strike others (Isa 10:5).

after the manner of Egypt—as He lifted it up against Egypt at the Red Sea.

Shall stir up a scourge; shall send a destroying angel, Isaiah 37:36.

According to the slaughter of Midian; whom God slew suddenly, and unexpectedly, and in the night, as he did the Assyrians.

At the rock of Oreb; upon which one of their chief princes was slain, and nigh unto which the Midianites were destroyed.

Was upon the sea, to smite and divide it, and so to make way both for thy deliverance, and for the destruction of the Egyptians.

After the manner of Egypt; as he did in Egypt, to bring his plagues upon that land and people.

And the Lord of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him,.... The Assyrian monarch; this scourge stirred up or awakened by the Lord, with which that monarch was severely scourged, is no other than the angel that was sent of God to destroy his army, 2 Kings 19:35,

according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: this refers to the destruction of the Midianites in the time of Gideon; and suggests, that the slaughter of the Assyrians should be like that, as it was; for as that was in the night, and very general, and immediately from the hand of the Lord, and was unthought of, and unexpected, and such of their princes that fled were taken and slain, particularly Oreb, at the rock which took its name from him; for not mount Horeb, and the rock there smitten by Moses, are meant, which is written with different letters; see the history of this in Judges 7:19 so it was in the night when the Assyrian army was destroyed, and that wholly; and not by the Israelites, but by the Angel of the Lord; and at once, at an unawares; and though Sennacherib fled and escaped, he was slain by his own sons, in his own city, in the temple of his god, 2 Kings 19:35,

and as his rod was upon the sea; referring to Moses's rod, which was lifted up, by the order of the Lord, over the Red Sea, when the Egyptians were drowned:

so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt; and destroy the Assyrians, in like manner as he destroyed the Egyptians, all at once.

And the LORD of hosts shall raise up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of {t} Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the {u} sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.

(t) Read Isa 9:4.

(u) When the Israelites passed through by the lifting up of Moses' rod, and the enemies were drowned, Ex 14:28.

Verse 26. - The Lord... shall stir up a scourge for him; or, lift up a scourge over him. Isaiah uses the metaphor of the "scourge" again in Isaiah 28:16, 18. It is rare in Scripture, though common among the Greek and Latin writers. According to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb (comp. Isaiah 9:4). The "slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb" was that great destruction of the Midianites which was begun by the three hundred under Gideon, and completed by the men of Ephraim, whereof we have an account in Judges 7:19-25. Its counterpart in Assyrian history would seem to be the destruction of Sennacherib's army, as related in 2 Kings 19:35. As his rod was upon the sea. An allusion to the drowning of Pharaoh's host in the Red Sea. This was a nearer parallel to the destruction of Sennacherib's army than the slaughter of the Midianites, since it was wholly miraculous. By "his rod" we may understand the rod of Moses, endued by God with miraculous powers (Exodus 4:3, 4; Exodus 14:16, 27). After the manner of Egypt; i.e. "after the manner of his action in Egypt." Isaiah 10:26A still further reason is given for the elevating words, with a resumption of the grounds of consolation upon which they were founded. "For yet a very little the indignation is past, and my wrath turns to destroy them: and Jehovah of hosts moves the whip over it, as He smote Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff stretches out over the sea, and He lifts it up in the manner of Egypt." The expression "a very little" (as in Isaiah 16:14; Isaiah 29:17) does not date from the actual present, when the Assyrian oppressions had not yet begun, but from the ideal present, when they were threatening Israel with destruction. The indignation of Jehovah would then suddenly come to an end (câlâh za‛am, borrowed in Daniel 11:36, and to be interpreted in accordance with Isaiah 26:20); and the wrath of Jehovah would be, or go, ‛al-tabilthâm. Luzzatto recommends the following emendation of the text, יתּם על־תּבל ואפּי, "and my wrath against the world will cease," tēbēl being used, as in Isaiah 14:17, with reference to the oikoumenon as enslaved by the imperial power. But the received text gives a better train of thought, if we connect it with Isaiah 10:26. We must not be led astray, however, by the preposition ‛al, and take the words as meaning, My wrath (burneth) over the destruction inflicted by Asshur upon the people of God, or the destruction endured by the latter. It is to the destruction of the Assyrians that the wrath of Jehovah is now directed; ‛al being used, as it frequently is, to indicate the object upon which the eye is fixed, or to which the intention points (Psalm 32:8; Psalm 18:42). With this explanation Isaiah 10:25 leads on to Isaiah 10:26. The destruction of Asshur is predicted there in two figures drawn from occurrences in the olden time. The almighty Judge would swing the whip over Asshur (‛orer, agitare, as in 2 Samuel 23:18), and smite it, as Midian was once smitten. The rock of Oreb is the place where the Ephraimites slew the Midianitish king 'Oreb (Judges 7:25). His staff would then be over the sea, i.e., would be stretched out, like the wonder-working staff of Moses, over the sea of affliction, into which the Assyrians had driven Israel (yâm, the sea, an emblem borrowed from the type; see Kohler on Zechariah 10:11, cf., Psalm 66:6); and He would lift it up, commanding the waves of the sea, so that they would swallow Asshur. "In the manner of Egypt:" b'derek Mitzraim (according to Luzzatto in both instances, "on the way to Egypt," which restricts the Assyrian bondage in a most unhistorical manner to the time of the Egyptian campaign) signifies in Isaiah 10:24, as the Egyptians lifted it up; but here, as it was lifted up above the Egyptians. The expression is intentionally conformed to that in Isaiah 10:24 : because Asshur had lifted up the rod over Israel in the Egyptian manner, Jehovah would lift it up over Asshur in the Egyptian manner also.
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